Another fifteen inches of snow fell on our neighborhood over the weekend. We spent most of Saturday preparing for this latest storm, clearing out the driveway as much as possible so that we'd have a place to shovel the new pile. Thankfully, it didn't start until later in the evening. But by the time we awoke on Sunday, the mounds surrounding our house had grown. After some breakfast and a few hours of reading newspapers, Eric suited up for some shoveling. I offered to help, but he said he was ok with taking care of it. As this was the first Sunday I wasn't working in over a month, I didn't argue with him.
That's not to say that I wasn't helpful. I did what I could, getting some laundry and cooking done. Eric had talked about making a goat stew, the task of which soon became mine to take on. I've never cooked goat, but I had a feeling it needed a couple of hours of simmering time. As someone who doesn't consume much meat and prepares it even less frequently, I feel a great deal of pride when a dish comes out tasting the way it's supposed to. And as good as it tasted, it smelled equally delightful. How wonderful it'll be when he walks through the door and can take in these wonderful aromas.
As for my dinner, I had already planned on putting together a batch of seafood stew. Before the weekend, I'd stocked up on an assortment of fish and other sea creatures. This is my new obsession. Getting a little of a number of ingredients and throwing them into a pot. This time it was a combination of squid, shrimp, littleneck clams, bay scallops and salmon. After a long day of shoveling, I poured us a glass of wine and ladled our his and his stews into our respective bowls. We threw a couple blankets on top of our laps and curled up on the couch. It wasn't an official Valentine's Day celebration, but it certainly was a nice reminder of the life we've built for ourselves and the little (and not so little things) we do for one another.
Yields: approx. 4 servings
1/2 lb salmon, skin removed and fillets cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch cubes 12 littleneck clams 3/4 lb squid, cleaned tentacles (cut in half, if necessary) and bodies (sliced into rings) 1/2 lb bay scallops 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 lb plum tomatoes, chopped 1 fennel bulb, chopped 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes 3 carrots, chopped 1 1/2 tbsps chopped fresh parsley 3 cups seafood stock Kosher salt Black pepper Olive oil
1. In a large skillet with a lid, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion, season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add chopped fennel and potato and cook for 3 minutes, giving it an occasional stir.
2. Add chopped tomatoes and seafood stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook for 15 minutes.
3. Add the squid, scallops, shrimp and clams. Cover and let cook for 2 minutes.
4. Take the lid off and add the salmon. Season with salt. Cover and let cook for another 6 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through and the clams have opened.
5. Sprinkle fresh parsley over stew before serving. Can be served in bowls on its own, on top of couscous or rice, or with crusty bread.